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Louis Armstrongs Wonderful World

April 1, 2018, at 8:00 am - June 30, 2018, at 5:00 pm

Three Queens-based organizations collaborate to bring the legacy and music of Armstrong into all 62 branches of the Queens Library System
April 23, 2017: Queens Library has joined forces with Louis Armstrong House Museum and theKupferberg Center for the Arts @ Queens College to launch a systemwide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” in all 62 branches of the library with free workshops, concerts, lectures, video, and surprise events between now and June 30th.
“There’s so much in ‘Wonderful World’ that brings me back to my neighborhood where I live in Corona, New York,” Armstrong said in 1968. “Lucille and I, ever since we’re married, we’ve been right there in that block. And everybody keeps their little homes up like we do and it’s just like one big family. I saw three generations come up on that block. And they’re all with their children, grandchildren, they come back to see Uncle Satchmo and Aunt Lucille. That’s why I can say, ‘I hear babies cry/ I watch them grow/ they’ll learn much more/ then I’ll never know.’ And I can look at all them kids’ faces. And I got pictures of them when they was five, six and seven years old. So when they hand me this ‘Wonderful World,’ I didn’t look no further, that was it.”
With a grant from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Queens Library, the Louis Armstrong House Museum and Kupferberg Center for the Arts @ Queens College have curated a program comprised of multiple opportunities to celebrate Louis Armstrong’s music, history, and belief in “listening to all kinds of music.” Performances include lectures by staff and LAHM (include Spanish) and 12 performances by world-class musicians who reflect the diversity of cultures and communities who make up the fabric of Queens. Special arts activities include collage making and other opportunities for participants to share what “makes their world wonderful,” and what makes Queens a wonderful world. A video about the song’s history and its relationship with the political and social upheaval of the 1960s will be shown in select branches. In addition, programming includes pop-up concerts in all branches.
“While the song reflects Louis Armstrong’s feelings about the neighborhood of Corona and borough of Queens, it also applies to the way many of our customers experience our libraries,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “It speaks to the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of learning that occurs each time people come to us for information that helps them succeed in their lives. Our partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts @ Queens College and the Louis Armstrong House Museum offers a great opportunity for everyone who visits our library locations to absorb Satchmo’s optimism and reinforce his sense of wonder about the world.”
“We are thrilled to be working with the Queens Library to bring ‘What a Wonderful World’ programming to all 63 library branches in the borough and in turn make the arts more accessible to everyone in Queens,” says Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “What better way to communicate our College’s mission to serve the students and families of our borough than through a celebration of one of America’s (and Queens’!) most-beloved cultural icons?”
“The Louis Armstrong House Museum is thrilled to be sharing the legacy of the GREAT Louis Armstrong throughout the borough of Queens and beyond the neighborhood of Corona he loved so much where the museum is based,” says David Ostwald, Chairman of the LAHM Board and Leader of the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band.
This year’s celebration features a selection of exciting musical artists, each drawing inspiration from Louis Armstrong and underlining his influence worldwide. Highlights include David Ostwald’s Grammy-nominated, traditional New Orleans-style group, Louis Armstrong Eternity Band; Min Xiao-Fen’s reinterpretations of jazz classics in “Blue Pipa: From Harlem to Shanghai and Back;” Indian-inspired jazz from composer and guitarist Prasanna; pan-African percussion/vocal group Akoko Nante Ensemble; folk band Radio Jarocho mixing the sounds of the Mexican countryside with New York City jazz; and, a series of lectures from experts and archivists from Louis Armstrong House Museum (in both English and Spanish) across Queens.


Upcoming Events
Grammy Award nominee David Ostwald and his ensemble The Louis Armstrong Eternity Bandcome to Queens Public Library to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Louis Armstrong’s original recording of the iconic song “What a Wonderful World.” This is a song inspired by the Great Satchmo’s life in Queens – a song that still inspires millions of people around the world! David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, one of the few traditional New Orleans-style bands on the contemporary jazz scene, breathes new life into classic works by Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, and Bix Beiderbecke without missing a beat, always true to the joy and heart of the music!
Thursday, May 24, 6pm
Langston Hughes Library (Auditorium)
Thursday, June 14, 6:30pm
Flushing Library (Auditorium)
Friday, June 29, 6pm
Peninsula Library
Collected from the many regions of China, Min Xiao-Fen’s compositions are inspired by Chinese folk, regional operas and Taoist music. The pipa master/vocalist/composer from Nanjing and her trio perform her thrilling new project “From Harlem to Shanghai and Back,” which reinterprets the work of legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Buck Clayton, Chinese composer Li Jinhui, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. The result is a bold cutting-edge Chinese fusion that transcends time and borders. Featuring Dean Johnson on bass, Steve Salerno on guitar, and Min Xiao-Fen on pipa, sanxian and vocals.
Monday, May 14, 2pm
Fresh Meadows Library
Tuesday, June 19, 4:30pm
Windsor Park Library
Prasanna, a guitarist and composer with a prolific and diverse body of work, will offer his interpretation of the song as well as a medley of unique Indian Carnatic music. Prasanna has earned worldwide praise not only for his expertise in performing the ancient and demanding art of Carnatic music on the electric guitar but also for the special and instantly identifiable way with which he blends Carnatic music with contemporary western and world music.
Friday, May 4, 4pm
Woodhaven Library
Saturday, June 30, 4pm
Flushing Library
Akoko Nante Ensemble, a Pan African percussion/vocal group, based out of Queens, presents music that has been harvested from the continent of Africa and through its diaspora. They will offer their rendition of ‘What a Wonderful World’ as well as songs from locales as diverse as the court of the royal palaces of Ghana, the groves of old Haiti, and the seaside shanties of Cuba. Their high energy performances will allow the audience to learn more about the origins of this unique musical genres while being wildly entertained!
Saturday, June 9, 3pm
Jackson Heights Library
Saturday, June 16, 3pm
Glen Oaks Library
Radio Jarocho will offer its interpretation of the song as well as a lively compilation of traditional Folk music from Mexico. Radio Jarocho plays son jarocho, the rowdy, upbeat, and at times melancholic music of the countryside of Veracruz, Mexico, and mixes it with the sounds of New York’s urban wonderful life!
Monday, April 23, 6:30pm
Peninsula Library
Saturday, May 26, 1:30pm
Langston Hughes Library (Auditorium)
Saturday, June 30, 3pm
Forest Hills Library (Auditorium)
108-19 71 Avenue, Forest Hills, Queens
Experts and archivists from the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, will offer Queens Library customers a unique, insider’s view of the Great Satchmo’s life and times; his incredible artistic achievements, his extensive travels around the world that fostered an unparalleled universal following, and his undeterred love for Queens and its people will come to life through this multimedia presentation that will include rarely seen archival material, pictures, film, and recordings. Q&A with the audience to follow.
Lectures in English:
Friday, May 18, 1pm
Glen Oaks Library
Monday, June 25, 6:30pm
Forest Hills Library
Lectures in Spanish:
Tuesday, May 1, 3:30pm
Corona Library
Saturday, June 2, 3pm
Jackson Heights Library
Monday, June 4, 5:30pm
Astoria Library
#WonderfulWorld50 Line Listings
April 23: Radio Jarocho (Peninsula Library)
May 1: A Lecture on the Life and Times of Louis Armstrong (in Spanish; at Corona Library)
May 4: Prasanna (Woodhaven Library)
May 14: Blue Pipa: From Harlem to Shanghai and Back (Fresh Meadows Library)
May 18: A Lecture on the Life and Times of Louis Armstrong (in English; at Glen Oaks Library)
May 24: David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band (Langston Hughes Library)
May 26: Radio Jarocho (Langston Hughes Library)
June 2: A Lecture on the Life and Times of Louis Armstrong (in Spanish; at Jackson Heights Library)
June 4: A Lecture on the Life and Times of Louis Armstrong (in Spanish; at Astoria Library)
June 9: Akoko Nante Ensemble (Jackson Heights Library)
June 14: David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band (Flushing Library)
June 16: Akoko Nante Ensemble (Glen Oaks Library)
June 19: Blue Pipa: From Harlem to Shanghai and Back (Windsor Park Library)
June 25: A Lecture on the Life and Times of Louis Armstrong (in English; at Forest Hills Library)
June 29: David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band (Peninsula Library)
June 30: Prasanna (Flushing Library)
June 30: Radio Jarocho (Forest Hills Library)
About Kupferberg Center for the Arts
Sponsored by New York Community Bank, The Kupferberg Presents 2017-2018 season features a vibrant lineup of world-class cultural events, concerts, and family programs at Colden Auditorium, Lefrak Concert Hall, Goldstein Theatre, and select off-campus locations for the 2.2 million residents of New York City’s most diverse borough. Since 1961, Kupferberg Center for the Arts has provided accessible and affordable world-class cultural entertainment to the NYC region. From classical and pop performances, to concerts and school residences, to a wide range of family events, over 350,000 individuals attend events at Kupferberg Center for the Arts each year. For tickets and information, visit kupferbergcenter.org or call the box office at (718) 793-8080. The box office hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and up to one hour prior to all performances.
About Louis Armstrong House Museum
The Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) sustains and promotes the cultural, historical, and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong by maintaining an historic house museum and the largest single jazz artist archives in the world; and by providing a wide array of programs and services. LAHM is a non-profit organization and a constituent of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College, CUNY; a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Association of African American Museums, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Museum Association of New York, the Museums Council of New York City, and NYC & Company. Major funding for LAHM is provided by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Queens College/CUNY; the New York State Council on the Arts; the City of New York through the Department of Cultural Affairs, the City Council, and from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. Private support is provided by the Rudin Family Foundation; the New York Community Trust, Con Edison; and members and donors from all over the world.
About the Queens Library
Incorporated in 1907, Queens Library is an independent, non-profit public library system and one of three serving the City of New York. It consists of a Central Library and 62 community libraries that attract more than 11.2 million visitors each year. Queens Library is one of the highest circulating library systems in the nation and among the busiest in the world. Visit online at queenslibrary.org/.


April 1, 2018, at 8:00 am
June 30, 2018, at 5:00 pm


Queens Library